Premium Processing Program Expansion Passes Federal Review

Practice Areas

By: Vandana Marath

The Office of Management and Budget has approved a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) final rule that would expand premium processing services to additional case types. The rule is one step closer to implementation with this approval.

While the details of the final rule are not yet known, it would likely extend premium processing to certain employment authorization forms, nonimmigrant change of status, and nonimmigrant extensions for some dependents.

background 

USCIS introduced the final rule in response to October 2020 Congressional legislation, the Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act. While the specifics of the rule will not be made public until it is published in the Federal Register, it is expected to mirror Congress’s October 2020 legislation. Implementation will likely take place over multiple months.

expansion to premium processing at uscis

The current premium processing program includes certain Form I-129 nonimmigrant worker petitions and certain Form I-140 immigrant worker petitions. The October 2020 legislation proposes expanding premium processing as follows:

Case

Timeline

Fee

Most Form I-140 EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3 petitions; Form I-129 Nonimmigrant Worker Petitions

15 Calendar Days

$2,500

Form I-140: EB-1 Multination Manager, EB-2 National Interest Waiver, EB-2 Physician

45 days

$2,500 or less

Form I-539 Change or Extension of Status: To F, J, or M; For E, H, L, O, P, and R dependents

30 days

$1,750 or less

Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization

30 days

$1,500 or less

Conclusion

It is not yet known exactly how the USCIS final rule will expand premium processing. Once it is published in the Federal Register, details of the premium processing expansion will be made public and USCIS will begin to implement the rule. The Chugh, LLP immigration team will continue to monitor the law’s development and provide updates when available.

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